German YouTuber Flula Borg has made waves across the globe with his unique comedy style and hilarious musical collaborations. Best known as the acid-tongued a capella star of Pitch Perfect 2, we were lucky to catch up with him as he prepared for his new tour of the states. Prepare for snacks, Streamies and a shared love of Genesis…
How difficult was the move to Los Angeles?
It’s very different for me; I’m from a smaller town. LA is a very specific city. Everyone is always talking about “network, network, network!”. In my town, the network is if the wi-fi is broken, so it’s a very different place! And the weather is weird! I’m missing rain, I’m missing clouds. When they come it’s like a dance party for me! I miss many things, but I know I must live here for now to achieve my goals. The language fascinates me too. When I first came, I was working at a cubicle in an office, and I was very close the snack room, so I could always hear the conversations in there. One was about some event, or birthday party or something and they were speaking about Jennifer who was working in another department. I was still learning these phrases of America. And of course, if you are a party pooper, it sounds very dirty, and I hope you do not come to my party! It’s just a nasty habit! That’s where the inspiration for Jennifer is a Party Pooper came from.
Your love of these strange phrases certainly comes across in German with a German With Flula. Are all of these bizarre sayings real, or are you trying to trick the English speaking world?
They are real! What I’m learning though is that some are very much in a region, so Germans are like “what?? I’ve not heard this before!!”, because it’s from my region of Germany, or my mother’s. So sometimes maybe only 200,000 Germans know it. I always assumed that everyone knows rattenscharf (“ratspicy”, meaning sexy) or dreikasehoch (“three cheeses high”, meaning short and cute), but sometime Germans just think I’m weird! But I like them!
Speaking of Germans being weird, you often play upon your “strangeness” in your work. Is the Flula that we see on screen the same Flula that we would meet in real life?
Well I think it’s like anything in the world. Sometimes I will do something because I find that it is entertaining, and so maybe that is more strange. And then sometimes I am just tired and I have a thought in my brain and I must express it, and maybe that is weird because I am weird. I think weirdness is having a spectrum and sometimes my real person is in one part, and sometimes my not real person is in a different location. It’s like an amusement park; there are many rides! Is this making sense? I don’t really know! I’m not really sure what is happening… I just do things, and then I eat!
How did Mama and Papa Flula feel when you first said you were moving to LA to pursue a career in YouTube?
I didn’t say that was what I was doing. I just said “hey guys, I’m feeling a lot of boredom, I’ve written one techno song about poodles, and it’s time to move.” So the reaction was of confusion and much concern for many years. They are not young buckarosies, so they need to understand what I am doing in a normal way. YouTube is not normal for those guys. A movie, they understand, so it’s been very helpful to be in a “real” thing. They still don’t get the YouTube. But then I still don’t get it!
You’re moving on to film a lot more now. Outside the YouTube community, you are best known as Pieter Kramer from Das Sound Machine. How was it being part of Pitch Perfect?
It was a dream. Normally I make YouTube videos, which are just me and one camera and not many snacks. With a film, there’s a lot of snacks and a lot of cameras. I enjoyed both of these things very much! But you know what was fun? We were allowed to play and experiment with our words and our actions… Dude, it was great! Rebel was great. We had so much fun talking smack to each other! I loved it, and very much want to do more of it for sure! That said, I’ve seen many films where the bad guys at the end usually die, or they are lost or in a prison or something. I would be surprised if we are back for the next film, but I would love it! I would love it if we were in Pitch Perfect 3 through 12. Once you have a franchise, you don’t stop. How many McDonalds are there? You know? I’m still waiting for my Oscar nomination for Alvin and the Chipmunks (The Road Chip) though. You never know, it might come next year. I like to do anything that is fun and weird and strange, and to be inside a Chipminks movie is all of these things, and also dope. My goal is to do more of these things. I would love to be in the next James Bond. I would love to be in Fast and Also More Furious. All of these things would be great! I will be the German Channing Tatum… Totem… Tatum…
If you could Auto-Tune with anyone living or dead, who would it be, and what song would you perform?
There’s a song called We Are the World which was very famous in 1985. I would like to make an Auto-Tune with all the people in this video, and also each of the people in an individual way, but also including recent people I have just met. Like Shaquil O’Niel. He is large and in the change. This would be nice!
How did it feel to win a Streamy award last year?
I don’t understand how it happened. I’m still demanding a recounting of the votes! It’s not justice, but I’m very happy to receive it. It’s like when you go to the vending machine and you just want a Snickers and then you receive a Streamy! A big surprise! In this category (Streamy for Comedy) all of the other nominees are great. I am very confused, but happy! Someone voted, I think, or maybe a monkey was just pushing the “Flula” button ten thousand times in the vote booth. But, hey, thanks monkey! All of the other nominees are so great and amazing.
What songs are popping in your jams right now?
My jam popping is not really with current events, because everyone is always worrying about what is hot and new. For work I must do the hoppy poppy jams, but in my time when I am perhaps showering, or shaving my neighbour, I would say right now, it’s Grand Funk Railroad from the 1970s and 80s. What a funky band of rock! But this will change tomorrow. Then it will be Eurythmics or something. There are so many funky artists that have been here for decades that are just dope! I shall listen to those guys. Maybe David Bowie, or Genesis. I love Genesis! I love the weird stuff; I Can’t Dance… That whole album is great! It’s so good!!! Put that on record! Put it on all the records!! Put it on a Genesis record!!!
Tell us about your new tour…
I’ve never done an official tour before, so it’s my first time! I started with live performance as a career, so to come back to it is what I have always wanted. I love to smell the perspiration from the crowd and also from my own body. It’s very weird, but also great. So this is my goal; the smell of sweat! I don’t really understand how comedy is working, but sometimes it occurs, and I let it inside. It’s whatever is working! I will for sure perform some music and tell some stories and do some songs and strange dances as well. Some DSM, some ATM if people are paying for the tickets, and if some LMFAO occurs that is fine as well! We are starting very tiny; I live most months now in Los Angeles, so the smart move for us was to try just the local places. I would love to come to the United Kingdom, and Germany of course. To start though, it’s better maybe not to order eighteen steaks, but just one hamburger!
And what is the plan for after the tour?
I’m going to start to make more collaborations with YouTubers. I need to return of the Mac! I’m also releasing two movies within the next year. One is about a strange cowboy poet, and one is about two dudes who are hiking because one of their wives left him. That’s called Honey Buddies. And then, a new album is coming, which is going to be my Animalbum, with all the songs about animals. One of the songs is called I Miss You, Pony. Spoiler alert! We are working hard to get my booty and torso into some new places for fun times!